An Acorn Deck House Kitchen Has a Bright Future

Kitchen Cove reimagines the form of a midcentury modern kitchen by tearing down walls and making the space feel lighter
Words By Anna Mangum
Photos By Courtney Elizabeth

Kristen Ellensohn and Lindsay Salvatore bought a Deck House, a prefab home unique to New England with a distinct midcentury modern flair, that was originally built in 1967 by Acorn Deck House Company. They reached out to Kitchen Cove for a refresh of the 50-plus-year-old kitchen, while also considering the original design. The biggest issue for the couple was the general lack of space in the kitchen. A wall separated it from the dining room, making both feel cramped. Lindsay says, “Half of the kitchen was focused on a large commercial stove in a small galley kitchen space, so the proportions and navigation were off, with constant bumping into one another and competing doors, drawers, and appliances.” So the dividing wall was removed, and the kitchen became more open, allowing guests to have a central space to sit. Kristen is an avid cook, and the couple loves to entertain. Introducing a large kitchen island changed the way they interacted with the kitchen, and they now serve appetizers and drinks on its surface.

Elongated hex backsplash tiles from Distinctive Tile & Design feel like a fun nod to the home’s midcentury architecture
A spherical light fixture brings a warm glow to the dark wood, sharp lines, and dark cabinets.

Although they opted for dark cabinets, the goal was to create a visually lighter space. When compared to the prior darkness of the wood and the dividing wall, the reconfigured area proves that dark cabinets can still make a space feel bright if the rest of the design is smart and efficient.

By adding a lighter counter, a simple flooring that resembles concrete, and an understated backsplash, they transformed the room. “Choosing a door with a simple profile gave the cabinets a transitional look,” says Conrad Arseneau, the designer at Kitchen Cove.

Miniature floating shelves add a convenient nook for storage without feeling overshadowed by the upper cabinets
A naturescape by giclée from Fiore Home of Fiore Interiors adds curves and softer lines.
"French Beret” painted cabinets contrast beautifully with the geometric white tile and original wooden ceilings.

“It’s not contemporary, and it blends well with the other woods in the house.” Since the home’s bones are midcentury modern, Kristen and Lindsay wanted cohesion between its history and the new elements that were introduced. The geometric shape for the backsplash and walls nods to the style, while the Calacatta gold countertop introduces a new form. The subtle grayish veins in the countertop pick up the hues in the Benjamin Moore’s “French Beret” coated cabinetry, creating harmony between the two styles. Even the smoky color in the brick fireplace that the homeowners adore speaks to the color of the cabinets. It isn’t hard to imagine the joy of sitting at the marble countertop, drink in hand, under the soft globe lights, admiring all the moments of cohesion.

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